Hindu Press International
A daily news summary for news media, educators, researchers, writers and religious leaders worldwide, courtesy of Hinduism Today magazine's editorial staff
January 22, 2014 (Huffington Post): Elaborately decorated Hindu temples sing praise to the glory of God with their breathtaking architecture. Hinduism is called the world's oldest religion and many of these structures are full of history.
Slideshow at source--click the second photo to launch the slideshow.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Monday, January 20, 2014
Friday, January 17, 2014
''Let me tell you how to love all equally. Do not demand anything of those you love. If you make demands, some will give you more and some less. In that case you will love more those who give you more and less those who give you less. Thus your love will not be the same for all. You will not be able to love all impartially.'' - Maa Sarada Devi
15. Why do we worship the kalasha? (taken from the pdf link above, Sanskritdocuments.org)
First of all what is a kalasha A brass, mud or copper pot is filled with water. Mango leaves are placed in the mouth of the pot and a coconut is placed over it. A red or white thread is tied around its neck or sometimes all around it in a intricate diamond- shaped pattern. The pot may be decorated wit designs. Such a pot is known as a kalasha.
When the pot is filled with water or rice, it is known as puriiakurnbka representing the inert body which when filled with the divine life force gains the power to do all the wonderful things that makes life what it is.
A kalasha is placed with due rituals on all-important occasions like the traditional house warming (grihapravesa), wedding. daily worship etc. H is placed near the entrance as a sign of welcome. It is also used in a traditional manner while receiving holy personages. Why do we worship the kalasha? Before the creation came into being. Lord Vishnu was reclining on His snake-bed in the milky ocean. From His navel emerged a lotus from which appeared Lord Brahma. the creator, who thereafter created this world.
The water in the kalasha symbolizes the primordial water from which the entire creation emerged. It is the giver of life to all and has the potential of creating innumerable names and forms, the inert objects and the sentient beings and all that is auspicious in the world from the energy behind the universe. The leaves and coconut represent creation.
The thread represents the love that "binds" all in creation. The kalasha is therefore considered auspicious and worshipped. The waters from all the holy rivers, the knowledge of all the Vedas and the blessings of all the deities are invoked in the kalaska and its water is thereafter used for all the rituals, including the ahhisheka.
The consecration (kumbkaabkisheka) of a temple is done in a grand manner with elaborate rituals including the pouring of one or more kalashas of holy water on the top of the temple. When the asuras and devas churned the milky ocean, the Lord appeared bearing the pot of nectar. which blessed one with everlasting life.
Thus the kalaska also symbolizes immortality. Men of wisdom are full and complete as they identify with the infinite Truth poornatvam). They brim with joy and love and respect all that is auspicious. We greet them with a purnakumbha ("full pot") acknowledging their greatness and as a sign of respectful and reverential welcome, with a "full heart".
The Kalash pot is an important item in most Hindu pujas and rituals. It is also placed permanently in home and shops. There is deep symbolism associated with the Kalash pot in Hinduism. The pot is a symbol of growth, fertility and abundance. At home and in business place it is symbol of fullness, plenty and prosperity.
Vedas describe Kalash pot as a golden pitcher overflowing with honey.
The space within the Kalash is considered to be the womb and thus it represents growth and fertility.
The water in the pot is a symbol of the sacred rivers.
As per some scriptures, the mouth of the kalash represents Vishnu, the neck represents Shiva and the middle part represents Brahma.
Kalash is a metal (usually made up of copper) vessel which has a flat round at the base and is used in many Hindu rituals. Kalash is also known as Kalasha, Kalasa, Kumbha, and Ghat. Kalasha symbolizes abundance and prosperity in Hinduism. It is also used as a symbol on wedding cards in order to show the marriage between two families. Kalash is a sacred symbol for Hindus. In general, a Kalash is always placed in or near a Hindu altar and is worshipped during daily Pujas.
During the time of rituals, the Kalash is filled up with water up to the neck of the vessel and five leaves of mango and/or Nagin plant are kept at the opening of the vessel in such a way that the leaves immerse partially in the water. Some coins are placed inside the vessel. A Swastika is drawn with Kumkum on the front portion of the vessel. After this a coconut is placed on the top of the Kalash. A garland of flowers is also placed around the Kalasha.
Kalasha is worshipped mainly during Vastushanti, Grihashanti, Navratri, marriage ceremony, and other important auspicious occasions.
References to the Kalasha can be found in Rigveda. Also it is believed that Amrit (the drink of immortality) was found in the Kalasha during Samudra-Manthan. The demons stole this Amrit-Kumbha but Gods took it back from them and drank all the Amrit.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Makara Sankranti is a Hindu festival celebrated in almost all parts of India and Nepal in a myriad of cultural forms. It is a harvest festival. Makar Sankranti marks the transition of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Makara rashi (Capricorn) on its celestial path.
The day is also believed to mark the arrival of spring in India and is a traditional. Makara Sankranti is a solar event making one of the few Indian festivals which fall on the same date in the Gregorian Calender every year: 14 January, with some exceptions when the festival is celebrated on 13 or 15 January
Friday, January 10, 2014
Friday, January 3, 2014
Do not be proud of wealth, people, relations and friends, or youth. All these are snatched by time in the blink of an eye. Giving up this illusory world, know and attain the Supreme.
-- Adi Shankara, 9th century Indian philosopher and saint